NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

What Obamacare Bills Might the President Be Willing to Sign?

November 6, 2014

With the GOP in control of the Senate, there will most likely be a vote to repeal Obamacare -- a vote that the president will most certainly veto. But Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute offers seven possible bills that he believes President Obama might be willing to sign when it comes to reforming the Affordable Care Act.

Roy writes that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blocked a number of health care bills that actually had public support over the last few years. But now, with different leadership come 2015, the Senate could pass those bills, along with others. Some of those measures include:

  • Allowing states to tweak and change their Medicaid programs more easily, without so much federal control.
  • Removing regulations that drive up costs, and allow insurers to offer less expensive products. For example, one Obamacare regulation requires insurers to pay for expensive, brand-name drugs, even if a less expensive generic drug would work.
  • Repeal the employer mandate, which only pushes more employees into part-time work or unemployment altogether. Even the CBO has indicated that a repeal of the mandate would do little to decrease the number of Americans with health insurance.
  • Repeal the medical device tax. As NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick has explained, the tax raises costs and hurts workers. And data from 2013 indicates that U.S. medical device sales have begun to suffer as a result of the tax.

Roy also suggests that lawmakers look at requiring the CBO to disclose online how it models the effects of fiscal policy, as the CBO's numbers are the primary way in which the fiscal impact of legislation like health reform is evaluated. Currently, this information is not disclosed, making it difficult for everyone -- whether individual citizens, businesses or economists -- to evaluate and improve on those methodologies.

Over at the NCPA Health Policy Blog, Senior Fellows Devon Herrick and John R. Graham offered their own suggestions as to what Congress should prioritize come 2015. In addition to things like repealing the medical device tax, they suggested giving Medicare Part D drug plans more power to combat fraud, doing away with the exchanges and reducing the FDA's power so that patients can more easily utilize experimental drug therapies.

Source: Avik Roy, "Seven Obamacare Bills That The New GOP Senate Majority Should Pass In 2015,", November 5, 2014. 


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